Youth golfers shine in tourney |

Youth golfers shine in tourney

A Tuesday round of golf gave 12-year-old Jace Worden a moment he won't soon forget.

Worden made a hole-in-one while practicing for Wednesday's Steamboat Golf Club Cowboy Shootout. He used a 7-iron on the 125- yard 3rd hole.

"At first I couldn't see it because of the heavy brush," he said. "But when I walked over and saw it, I just fell over."

On Wednesday, Warden finished third and just made par at the 3rd hole, narrowly missing a birdie putt.

— Wednesday’s round of golf may have made the decision a little easier for Steamboat Springs freshman-to-be Kaelen Gunderson.

Gunderson, who is deciding whether to play golf or soccer in the fall, shot a 6-over par 76 to place first in the 14 to 15 year-old division at the 10th annual Steamboat Golf Club Cowboy Shootout.

“I’m looking more towards golf because every other sport is a team sport and golf is just me relying on me and how good I play.”

Gunderson used his scrambling and putting ability to take advantage of the course.

“I just made some putts,” he said. “I was just saving myself the whole time.”

Gunderson wasn’t the only Sailor golfer to impress.

Varsity stalwart Tucker Campbell shot the low roundof the tournament with a 74 even though he played the par 4 fifth and 13th at 5 over par.

For Gunderson, playing competitively in the summer only increases his chances of making a splash during the upcoming golf season.

“It’s always good to get used to the competition,” he said.

Sponsored by the Steamboat Men’s Club, the Cowboy Shootout brings players from all over the state to Steamboat to compete.

This year, 53 entrants competed in five age divisions with the top three in each division receiving a trophy.

Head of the Board at Steamboat Golf Club Jim Denton said the laid-back atmosphere and number of participants make the Cowboy Shootout special.

“We’ve always had a good kids program and we never turn a kid down from playing.”

Since Bill Nicky and Dennis Johnson started the tournament 10 years ago, each year has seen more and more participants.

Chip Shelvin, a longtime employee at the club, has been around for all of the tournaments and said each year the tournament gets better.

“What’s nice about this is the age range,” he said. “From 8 years old all the way up to 18 years old.

“Now there is a lot of enthusiasm, whereas before we had to call people and beg them to come out.

The bottom line is we love to see all the kids come out and play.”

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